Tag Archives: Life

Oh Well

When I was in high school back in the mid-60s, my favorite rock groups were the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, as well as the Beach Boys and the Four Seasons. When I went off to college in 1966, my taste in music changed. I became a huge fan of Bob Dylan, the Kinks and Fleetwood Mac. Not the Fleetwood Mac that became very popular 15 years later, but rather Peter Greens Fleetwood Mac. You see, although the band is named for the drummer and bass player, it was originally a Peter Green sub-band. How Peter lost that band is a very tragic story which I will tell in just a few minutes.

 

Fleetwood Mac from 1967 to 1970 was predominantly a blues band. In fact, had Peter Green not suffered his “tragic accident”, I think Peter would be discussed in the same breath with Eric Clapton as the greatest British blues guitarist. To see what I mean, click here. The first song you will hear is “Black Magic woman.” Most people associate that song with Santana hat I mean, go to YouTube and search “Fleetwood Mac live 1970.” But it was Peter Green who wrote this song and Fleetwood Mac who originally recorded it. To this day, Fleetwood Mac’s version is still my favorite version.

Continue reading Oh Well

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It’s About Time!

Yes, I know I have been missing in action for well over a month.. The reason for my absence is that I have been too busy having fun. I hope you all do not grudge me having fun. So, what specifically have I been doing that has been so much fun?

 

Right around Thanksgiving I got my computer working again after quite a while of it being out of commission. It turns out that there was nothing wrong with my hard drive other than it needed a good cleaning. The computer repair person got it nice and clean for me and then installed a fresh copy of Windows 10. He also installed a new graphics card, one that allows me to use a 47 inch flatscreen high definition television as my computer monitor. Using that with a lower resolution enlarges things so much that I can read most text while wearing only a pair of over-the-counter reading glasses. With the very large monitor I am able to once again play my favorite computer games by myself, without having someone do much of the mechanical stuff like I have had to in recent times. That’s what I’ve been doing for the last month – playing on my computer for hours and hours at a time… We even got it set up now where Michael and I can do multiplayer on one of my favorite games: Neverwinter Nights!

Continue reading It’s About Time!

Go Colin Go!

Lately it seems that I am suffering from a severe case of déjà vu. It appears as if I am reliving the 1960s all over again. In a way, that’s a good thing. A lot of good things happened in the United States in the late 1960s. A lot of bad things happened as well, the most memorable for me was the 1968 Democratic convention in Chicago. I was not in Chicago for the convention. I was in Washington DC at the time, but I did protest against the war and did march in support of Eugene McCarthy for the democratic nomination. Much like the efforts to get Bernie Sanders nominated this year, our efforts in 1968 to get Eugene McCarthy nominated were unsuccessful. We were unsuccessful again in 1972 trying to get George McGovern, another antiwar candidate for president, the Democratic nomination.

1968 was an extremely interesting year. The summer Olympics were held in Mexico City that year. On the political front, the black power movement was gaining a great deal of strength. Two American athletes, both black, won medals in the same event and when they were on the podium getting their metals, they both raised their hand in the black power fist salute. The reaction at the time by the media and much of the American public was extremely negative. People felt that doing that at the Olympics was extremely inappropriate. Today John Carlos and Tommy Smith are seen as heroes of the civil rights movement. Continue reading Go Colin Go!

2016 Presidential Election: The Silly Season Is Upon Us!

Before I go back to talking about my past some more, I want to start talking about a subject that is quite important to me and should be important to all of you(especially those of you in the U.S here with me!): the upcoming American Presidential election. But we should be just as concerned about the congressional elections as well, even the local elections. As the last eight years have shown us, just because we have a liberal president does not mean that the liberal policies he wanted and many of us wanted, or they would not have been elected, do not get passed because the Congress is controlled by the conservatives. Bernie Sanders is right: we do need a revolution of sorts in American politics. What we need is a radical shift to the left, not only in the office of the president but also in Congress.

My initial inclination that I talked about in an earlier post was that I wanted Bernie Sanders as the Democratic nominee for president. Sanders is an avowed socialist. So am my. There are certain things that every citizen in this country should get because they are a citizen: healthcare probably the most important one and education the second most important one. The fact that doctors, hospitals, universities, especially med schools, all make money hand over fist is disgusting and, honestly, un-American. I can remember a time when doctors actually cared about their patients, made home visits, especially for sick children, and were not always that concerned about having the latest medical thingamajig in their clinics. Doctors were not on the payroll of the pharmaceutical companies. We did not have the problem with the abuse of prescription drugs that we have now. Granted, a lot of the street drugs, like heroin, morphine, cocaine, etc. can kill you if overused and they should definitely be illegal. The problem is that if you pay attention to the side effects mentioned in the pharmaceutical commercials, those things will kill you, too! Quite often, the side effects are worse than the disease they are supposed to treat.

Continue reading 2016 Presidential Election: The Silly Season Is Upon Us!

One More Reason To Hate The Medical Profession

Those of you who know me very well, and there are a few of you, know that I have a very low opinion of the medical/health care professions. This low opinion is the result of many years of having to deal with their stupidity and ineptitude. I know at least one of you is going to be very insulted by this. All I can say is oh well! So what’s the latest reason for me to hate doctors?

 

10 years ago I had cataract surgery on both eyes. I went from being severely nearsighted to being severely farsighted. I have also had an astigmatism for a very long time. My last pair of glasses before I had my cataract surgery corrected for the astigmatism and also for the double vision I suffer from.

 

After the surgery, I had a pair of bifocals made up that were basically clear glass on the top and fairly powerful reading glasses on the bottom. Problem is, those glasses did not correct for the astigmatism or the double vision. I mentioned this to my ophthalmologist, who told me there was nothing they could do for me, that there was no way to correct for these problems. I suffered under this misinformation for the last 10 years. Because of this misinformation, I have not been able to read a book or a website, type on my own, or even read the program guide on my satellite TV channels.It turns out that there ARE corrective lenses for my problems. In fact, the glasses I had before my surgery corrected for both, as I mentioned. No wonder I’m pissed!

 

This bull manure is just the latest in a long series of episodes of stupidity, ignorance, or what ever you wish to call it by doctors who are so full of themselves and think they are infallible when in fact all they are is arrogant and conceited. Given the kind of money these people expect to get paid for their services, you would think they would make a better effort to be more attentive to the needs of their patients and not worry so much about their schedules or their wallets. Lord knows, most of them have very stuffed wallets. After all, being a doctor is very “lucrative.” That is the term that a doctor I happen to know used to explain why he took a position from which he recently retired.

 

By the way, although I tend to hate doctors, I absolutely love nurses, male or female. I owe the nurses in the emergency room and the ICU at the local hospital my life, at this point.

Personal Anniversary!

Before I get to the post on on socialism, I want to mention that I am celebrating a personal anniversary today, March 20th. It was four years ago today that I quit smoking. The reason I quit smoking is because I ended up in the emergency room in the and intensive care unit at the local hospital early in the morning of March 20th 2012. I had suffered a pulmonary edema and a heart attack. The fact that I’m still here, still kicking, and still crazy, as well as smoke free, surprises me more than it surprises anybody else that I know, including you guys! Happy anniversary to me!

The Means of Production: Introduction

I’m going to take a break from my reminiscing about my personal past. Instead, I’m going to return to a subject near and dear to my heart: politics. Contrary to what the common usage of that word is, for me politics is much more than the official business of the legitimate governing institutions of this world. I use politics more in the Aristotlean sense; that is, everything and anything that has to do with human interaction. Politics is about how we humans relate to each other, both formally and informally(for a detailed discussion of what I am talking about here, I suggest you read Pierre Bourdieu’s Outline of a Theory of Practice).

Those of you who have been reading this blog for a long time will find what I’m about to say a bit repetitious. Sorry about that, but I need to make we are all on the same page. When it comes to politics as I define it, I am a Marxist, but not a vulgar Marxist. What I mean by that is that I do agree that whoever controls the means of production, controls that particular society.

The mans of production is not just the purely economic means, such as factories, corporations, etc… Rather, the menas of productions includes the means of symbolic production, that is who controls the things like education, theater, music, religion: all those things that shape how we think and how we see the world. (My thanks to Marshall Sahlins’ Culture and Practical Reason for this concept). One of the major producers of symbolic products in Western culture is the media. The media, in it’s attempts to be profitable, sells advertising for products that we really don’t have a need for, at first. However, the advertising creates a false need in consumers. The most glaring and most troubling example, for me, is the advertising done by pharmaceutical companies, a subject I have discussed many times here. Feel free to search this blog for more specific details about my feelings about the drug companies. Suffice it to say, their advertising creates a false sense of need and we wonder why we have so many people in this country addicted to prescription medications. The sad thing is that too often the side effects are worse than the disease being treated. Personally, I’d be more than happy to live with a bad case of acne rather than the more serious side effects that some of the prescription medications for acne bring. In this series of posts, I am going to touch on a number of issues about control of the means of production that trouble me in Western society, especially here in the U.S. The first one, which we will cover next time, is the total misrepresentation in American politics(the institutional kind) and the media about what Socialism is, and who is or isn’t a Socialist. Let me tell you upfront; I am a Socialist, and Barack Obama is so far from being a Socialist, it’s not even funny. I only wish he was one.

Confronting the Past Part Twelve

What I want to talk about today is directly related to some of the stuff I’ve been talking about on my Christian Heresiology blog, especially the Digging Deeper articles(See right sidebar on homepage). It is my contention that we humans collectively shape our reality; that there is no reality outside of our collective consciousness. On an individual level, depending on the strength of our psyche, we can shape, to some extent, our own realities. If you have ever done any motivational training, or sale training, you have been exposed to a mundane form of this theory of mine. Not that this theory is original to me other than perhaps in the breadth that I use it.

Many religions, including Christianity, have mystic forms. In almost every form of mysticism, there is some variation of this idea of there being no reality beyond what we humans create for ourselves. One of the most ancient forms is in Hinduism that sees the world of reality as illusion. Buddhism also believes this to be true and that enlightenment for a Buddhist is to escape from this reality of illusion to a state of true reality. In some ways, this is what Christ was talking about in his kerygma. In my journey through my looking glass of religion, I have come to the conclusion that this escape to enlightenment, or whatever you want to call it, is what Christians call the Resurrection. Death is not the end of existence, neither spiritual or physical. It is only a doorway into a new level of perception(thanks to Aldous Huxley for that one).

In my trip through the looking glass I have explored, to some level or another, most of the major forms of what we term religion. That includes, of course, the five major religions as well as various forms of “paganism” and “witchcraft.” Looking back at all those religious experiences these past few years is what led to where I am now. I do not deny the existence of God; I do deny the existence of the Fundamentalist Judao/Christian/Islamic concept of God. That concept has led to the oppression of both ethnic and sexual minorities, all kinds of stupid wars and other rediculous acts of violence and a general oppression of intellectual freedom. Religious fundamentalists, of which at one time I was one, feel they have the monopoly on truth, which is hysterical, since truth changes over time. Contrary to what these people argue, there is no absolute truth, and there never has been. This belief in absolute truth and it’s corollary of a monopoly on truth is what Karl Marx was talking about when he said that religion is the opiate of the masses.

The More Things Change, The More They Stay The Same

I’m taking a break from my “Confronting the Past” series. Instead, I’m going to indulge in an old habit: I’m going to rant a bit. In a way, this is sort of confronting the past, but in a personal way but rather, in a cultural way.

With the end of the Cold War over a decade ago, we all thought that confrontations between Russia/Soviet Union and the USA were a thing of the past. That shows how stupid we can be. The sad thing about all this is that it’s not just the Russians or us Americans that are reviving the Cold War. It’s both sides being idiots. And the idiots are not just the elected officials on one side or the other; it’s the political fundamentalists on both sides. I suspect that the “military-industrial complex”, as Eisenhower called it in his farewell speech of 1961, that is the power behind the thrones on both sides. And all this is wrapped up in the Holy Shroud of Russian/American nationalism. You would think the world has had it’s fill of that shit. [My son doesn’t agree with me on that. I guess I’m showing my age, lol]

Hopefully, things will calm down if there are any rational beings left in charge on either side, I have my doubts about there being any, but one can only hope.